When the 1901 Census was taken, 7 year old Fred was living with his parents, James and Louisa, and his three brothers at 148 Higher Brinksway. This was also where James ran his shop selling fruit and potatoes. By 1914, the shop had moved to 160 Brinksway and James also had a furniture shop at 1 Stockport Road.
In 1916, Fred married Alice Hawkyard at St Mary’s Church, Cheadle. She was the sister of George Hawkyard. Probably around this time, Fred joined the army. His service number indicates that he was assigned to an unknown Territorial Brigade of the Artillery. Records at the National Archives show that he had an entitlement to service medals, confirming that he must have served overseas on active service with this unit. However, at some point, his health is thought to have deteriorated and he was posted back to the UK and sent to 5C Reserve Brigade, based at Charlton Park, London, which was formed for home defence purposes only and was comprised of men unfit for the rigours of the front.
Fred died at Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich. His body was brought back to Stockport and, on 31 March, after a service at St Cuthbert’s Church, he was buried with full military honours. In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Alice had returned to her family home at 18 Jackson Street, Cheadle.